John O’Groats secures WorldHost Recognised Destination status
Published 27 Sep 2013John O’Groats leads Scotland in achieving WorldHost Recognised Destination status. The announcement was made by Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland at Caithness Chamber of Commerce’s WorldHost launch in the Seaview Hotel at John O’Groats.
Unlike St Stephen Street in Stockbridge which holds the accolade for the first WorldHost retail destination in Scotland, John O’Groats has achieved a first because it encompasses a whole range of businesses in this iconic destination. John O’Groats Ferries, Flavours, The Cabin, Seaview Hotel, First & Last, Tourist Information Centre, Ticketyboo, John O’ Groats Post Office, John O’Groats Caravans and Natural Retreats are all WorldHost Recognised Businesses in their own right.
Trudy Morris, Chief Executive of Caithness Chamber of Commerce said: “We are absolutely delighted for John O’Groats. All the businesses got on board and fully embraced our initiative. Their status is so well deserved. We rolled out the pilot in a short space of time as we knew Malcolm was visiting Caithness to speak to businesses about the Visitor Economy and it was an ideal opportunity to make this announcement. Our plan is to roll this out across Caithness within the tourism and retail sectors and John O’Groats has led the way. We hope many more will be inspired and see the value in this training.”
Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “I would like to congratulate the businesses in John O’Groats for working together and getting behind this initiative which is so important as we approach 2014, when Scotland prepares to welcome the world with a series of global events including the Commonwealth Games, Ryder Cup and Homecoming.
“The VisitScotland Information Centre in Thurso is itself enjoying a successful local partnership with Caithness Horizons, so much so that since relocating to the Caithness Horizons building at the beginning of the season, footfall is up 32%.
“Tourism has a huge ripple effect, and visitor spending doesn’t just impact on the accommodation or visitor attraction sectors, but much further afield. A successful, buoyant visitor economy - employing local people, using local suppliers and supporting local economies - all contributes to a more successful Scotland.”
Eann Sinclair, Programme Manager for the Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership, also commented on the announcement, saying: “This excellent news sends out a very clear message that this area has the right people in the right place at the right time to deliver real economic benefits. It is very fitting that John O’Groats as a reinvigorated destination is leading the way for the rest of the country, and fitting also that a dynamic Chamber of Commerce is playing such an important part in bringing partners together. “
WorldHost customer service training has been used to train over one million people worldwide. That includes tens of thousands of volunteers and staff at the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympics, who were widely praised for the fantastic welcome they gave to visitors.
Originally developed in Canada and adapted for the UK market, the WorldHost programmes provide a gold standard in training for any business that relies on day-to-day interaction with customers for success.
As part of its Make the Right Connections Skills Programme, which is funded by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd and Skills Development Scotland, the Chamber aims to roll out WorldHost training for the tourism and retail sectors with the aim of achieving WorldHost destination recognition for Caithness by the end of next year, putting the area on the map for great service.